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A Little Way of Homeschooling Paperback – February 21, 2011
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So when I read a book slowly, it's to savour it. To digest it as I go. To pray it, ruminate on it as I take it into my mind. And if a book is good enough for me to read slowly, really tasting every bite, then it's a truly special book, and they don't come often.
I just finished a book which I read veeeeery slowly. It took me 7 days to read a volume I could have read in about 4 hours. Because I didn't want it to end. Because it was like having a cup of tea after a rough day with just the person who had just the right things to say. The book left me at peace, deeply at peace with myself. My only regret is that I didn't read this book before placing my book orders this summer.
Suzie Andres has done it again. With humility, simplicity, and the sharpness of a fine sword, she cuts through every fear in my mother's heart, even the ones I didn't know were there. Her first book (Homeschooling with Gentleness) was revolutionary. Utterly revolutionary.
But the critics were there, in the wings, ready: O sure, for a highly educated and well-read family that might work. O sure, if you only have 2 kids, spaced 10 years apart that's a nice idea. O sure, if....
But here is a collection of writings from over a dozen women who let natural learning happen in their homes. Homes with a child or two; homes with a dozen or so! Homes where very different types of children have grown up to become intelligent, peaceful individuals with happy, productive lives.
Plus, in the spirit of Suzie and her husband's academic work, there is more information on the reassuring philosophical underpinnings of a relaxed home education (that her first book was so full of)- why it works, why it makes sense, why it is in keeping with the laws of nature and the laws of the human soul.
If I were considering whether homeschooling was for me, I would read this book.
If I were feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, and was fighting with my children due in part (or in whole) to the way I was homeschooling, I would read this book.
If I thought unschooling was a four-letter word, I would read this book.
If I wanted to know more about what several very holy saints had to say about education, I'd read this book.
If I had to rescue books from a fire and I could only take 3 homeschooling reference books (or what I call Mother-books) with me, this would be one of them, along with John Holt's Growing without Schooling and Mary Hood's The Relaxed Homeschooler.
Mother Teresa said, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Why does that quotation capture the essence of this book for me? Because in this modern, fast-paced world, I look at families, with children learning at home or in schools, and I see the lack of peace. For me, this book illuminates a way to bring peace into my home and keep it there, like a well-tended fire.
God bless you, and may you find the cup of tea you really need today.
(Excerpted from a review at[...] by the author of said review.)
I knew I couldn't continue homeschooling if this is how it would be. I was disappointed. I began to leave the workbooks on the shelves and focus on my son. I found other ways to do math (counting legos/beans, cooking), science (reading books, being outside), and all the other subjects. I found my son was still learning and keeping up with his peers, and his little brother was learning right along with him.
When a friend recommended this book, I knew I had to read it. I read it quickly and loved every word in it. I realized that all this time since we had put the workbooks away, we were unschooling! I was so happy to see that I wasn't the only "crazy" one out there, that this method actually works. It also made sense to me. This is how children have always learned, long before there were schools.
Even though this book focuses on Catholic families, this book is not only for Catholics. Anyone who reads it will get a great idea of what unschooling looks like in real life. This is a quick read, a book you won't be able to put down. It reads like a cup of coffee with friends. You will be invited into 15 different homes (and a few extras) and see how these families learn together and live together. You'll be refreshed and inspired.
BONUS: The back is filled with resources, making it a useful book to add to your home library.